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India India May Get First Sikh CJI In 2017


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
NEW DELHI: Three new judges of the Supreme Court will take oath on Tuesday and one of them, Justice J S Khehar, will go on to become the first Sikh Chief Justice of India in the year 2017.

President Pratibha Patil has signed the warrant of appointment for Justice Khehar, chief justice of Karnataka, Justice Ranjana Desai of the Bombay High Court and Gujarat chief justice S J Mukhopadhyay.

Justice Khehar will become the Chief Justice of India on January 4, 2017, on the retirement of Justice T S Thakur, who is expected to take the reins of the top judge's post in September 2014.

Justice Desai, who was part of the Bombay High Court decision to uphold death penalty to 26/11 terror attack convict Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, will become the fifth woman judge of the Supreme Court after Justices Fathima Beevi, Sujata Manohar, Ruma Pal and Gyan Sudha Misra.

Though the apex court got its first woman Judge in 1989, this will be the first time that there will be two sitting women judges in Justices Misra and Desai.

Gujarat chief justice S J Mukhopadhyay, who unwittingly figured in the tussle between governor Kamla Beniwal and chief minister Narendra Modi on the Lokayukta appointment, will take oath after Justices Khehar and Desai.

The SC has a sanctioned strength of 31 judges including the CJI. At present, it is functioning with a strength of 26 judges and four more are scheduled to retire by October 15. So, even after these three appointments, there would still be six vacancies.

The vacancies of judges in the high courts has been a cause for serious concern as pendency of cases are increasing steadily. Of the total sanctioned strength of 895 judges in 21 HCs, almost 30% of the posts are vacant, as per the statistics given by SC till February this year.

Allahabad High Court is the worst affected. Of a total sanctioned strength of 160, more than half the posts are vacant. It is followed by the Punjab and Haryana HC where of the 68 posts of judges, 26 are lying vacant.



1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Justice Khehar had defined Sikh identity
TNN Sep 12, 2011, 02.30am IST

CHANDIGARH: Justice J S Khehar, who will be taking oath on Tuesday as judge of the Supreme Court (SC) and is expected to become the first Sikh Chief Justice of the country in 2017, had once defined a Sikh.

While heading full bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court on May 30, 2009, Justice Khehar had held, "Retaining hair unshorn is a fundamental tenet of the Sikh religion and a Sikh is one who keeps unshorn hair and does not trim beard or pluck eyebrows."

Justifying judicial intervention on such issues, Justice Khehar, who spoke for the bench, had also maintained that once a court arrives at the conclusion that a particular aspect of a religion, is fundamental and integral, as per the followers of the faith, it must be given effect to, irrespective of the views expressed on the said issue, based either on science or logic.

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Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

Literal translation from Sant Singh Khalsa in black followed by my interpretation in green.

ਕਾਨੜਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ Kaanarraa Mehalaa 5 || Ang 1298

ਕੀਰਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੀ ਗਾਉ ਮੇਰੀ ਰਸਨਾਂ ॥ Keerath Prabh Kee Gaao...

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